Agriculture agency opens anti-corruption hotline

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

AFTER being dragged into several controversies, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has come up with an anti-corruption hotline.

Dubbed "Agri-byado Hotline", the project shall serve as a proactive anticorruption mechanism of the Agriculture department where citizens can share information which may invoke an audit investigation, said Director Irene Alogoc of the Internal Audit Service (IAS) of DA tasked to oversee the "Agri-byado Hotline".

"Concerned citizens can report problems, issues, and unusual activities in the implementation of DA projects and programs such as malversation of funds and irregularities in the bidding process," Alogoc said.

"With the hotline in place, the public can monitor projects to assure that these are implemented for the benefit of the stakeholders. Project implementers also have a greater responsibility to ensure no irregularities happen in carrying out the projects," she added.

DA-IAS initiated "Agri-byado Hotline" to help DA in its quest to prevent and put an end to the anomalies in implementing projects and programs.

The Agriculture department, including its head Secretary Proceso Alcala, has been dragged into the pork barrel scam. Alcala, however, denied allegations against him.

The DA has recently launched an audit desk where citizens, civil society organizations (CSOs), and other entities can request for an audit-investigation of suspected anomalous agriculture projects and activities in confidentiality.

Alogoc explained that the new audit desk will serve as the ordinary citizen’s channel in expressing complaints and concerns for DA projects, as audit operations will be expanded by engaging them in good governance.

She said requests for audit investigations can be made online via e-mail: http:/ (login: agribyado) or through the hotline numbers: (02) 921-6891 or 0905-571-5724 operational from Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm. All requests will be screened by DA-IAS.

Eligible audit investigation requests will be forwarded to the DA Secretary for prioritization and issuance of order for the conduct of special audit. An audit report shall be submitted to the Secretary and if warranted, shall undergo proper legal procedure.

Except for anonymous requests, the requesting party shall be apprised of the developments, the DA said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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